Archive for September, 2010

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I don’t know about you but sometimes I need a fast and easy project to give me a sense of accomplishment and skill. This pet bed from “One Yard Wonders” is the perfect project for it. I mean how hard can any project be that involves six rectangles and some piping?

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I used “Leo” by Alexander Henry.

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I picked this fabric up a couple years ago in a quilt shop not knowing what I would use it for but also knowing I couldn’t leave it behind! I decided to use it for this project to add a little color and whimsy to our living room and because it coordinates with my favorite piece of art that we own.

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It took me about 30-45 minutes to put the whole thing together. I stuffed it with two bags of organic bamboo fiberfill and the stuffing from an old pillow (we are all about reusing things around here) and I think our puppy, Pearl, approves.

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Pearl is about fifteen pounds now and won’t get much bigger, she’s a silver beagle, so this bed will be used for a very long time. If you’ve got a small dog the bed is the canine equivalent of a king sized bed but if you’ve got a medium sized dog it’s more of a canine twin sized bed (it works but there isn’t a lot of room to stretch out). If you’ve got a medium to large breed dog this would work when they are little but you’d have to increase the size if they are going to use it when they grow up.

So far our cats haven’t tried the bed out but they could both comfortably fit on it if the dog would ever move 🙂

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When I started quilting a couple years ago the first book I purchased was “Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts” and I immediately fell in love with this quilt.

Finished Color Wheel Quilt Top
This one by pikku-kettu.

But at that point my stash was non existent and while you can purchase a fabric bundle specifically for this project from Purl Soho I wanted to choose the fabrics myself. Needless to say that’s a rather spendy proposition.

Then I saw this version and thought maybe I could make one out of blues.

Color Wheel Quilt
By hollyrh

After purchasing about 7 different blues I realized I didn’t love blue that much and I decided to shelve this project indefinitely. Fast forward about a year and I saw this version.

Colorful Crafting with Jen:  Wedding Wheel Quilt
By purl soho

It made me realize I didn’t need to make a color wheel I could use a collection of cohesive fabrics and make a wheel that is just as beautiful as the rainbow. But I still didn’t have FIFTY TWO different fabrics that I loved and that worked together.

Fast forward another year and I started to see all these project made with Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow and started to fall in love with it. Ultimately I decided it would be perfect for a wheel quilt and I think you will agree

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I’ve actually finished all four arcs and was hoping to work on assembling the rest but when I went to JoAnn’s they didn’t have any navy blue Kona cotton :(. They normally stock it so I’m not sure why they don’t have it right now. I need almost 8 yards and I’ve got a couple 40% off coupons so I’m going to put this project on hold and go back this weekend to see if they’ve gotten any in stock.

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whether I want to or not…

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I’m not a big fan of moving between various projects,at most I’ll be working on three things at the same time. Usually I’m only working on one and make myself finish it before I start anything else. But occassonally I will get stuck on a project and just won’t want to finish it. While this tree skirt may look sweet and innocent

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I assure you it’s evil! I first saw this when mamacjt posted it on flickr

Tree Skirt

Carol created the tree skirt and after so many people expressed interest in it she also created a pattern which can be purchased directly from her. Simply contact her through flickr at the link to her above.

I was really excited to make this tree skirt and readily shelled out almost $50 for 12 different fat quaters in shades of reds or greens. The pattern only calls for 1/8 yards but I don’t have a quilt shop that sells cuts that small. You could also use scraps to make a more interesting tree skirt but I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work.

Where the love affair ended was all the tiny strips. The pattern calls for strips 1 1/4 in or 1 1/2 in wide but piecing those thin strips to make a 7 inch thick rectangle is tedious. Eventually I just cut mine wider 1 1/2 in – 2 in wide. By the time I had pieced my red rectangles and my trees I was done! The skirt got set aside for a week or so before I gathered up the energy to start working on it again. After the pieced portions are done the top actually goes together pretty quickly. You sew white strips on the sides of the trees and then sew the tree to the red rectangle. There are only two pattern pieces- one is the tree and the second is the section. You lay the pattern piece for the section over your work and trim off the excess. Then you sew the trimmed sections together. Until this point the directions were concise but detailed and my only frustration was personal (I don’t like sewing thin strips together over and over and over again). But at this point I have a real problem with the pattern. Perhaps you will understand when I quote step 11 for you “Layer and quilt as desired.” If this was a square or a rectangle I wouldn’t be complaining but it’s not. And even patterns that use squares or rectangles will tell you how much fabric and what dimensions the backing should be. But this is worse because it’s a hexagaon with curved ends. What size backing should I use? What size batting? Should I cut it in a circle, if so how large? Should I cut it in a square, if so what size? I used a square for the record and it wasn’t brain surgery but this is a pattern and I personally believe a pattern should walk you through all the steps. I also have a problem with step 12 which tells you how much “BIAS” binding you need but not how to attach it. Again this isn’t a square or a rectangle, you have to bind curves with points, I’ve never done that before. Feeling really frustrated at this point I contacted Carol and asked for assistance. I didn’t specifically ask how to get the binding around the points where the curves meet, I figured when i asked how to bind it that she would understand what I needed. Her response was a reminder that I needed to use “BIAS” binding, to ease it around and go to a local shop if I needed more assistance. I was tired and frustrated at this point, really frustrated and I put this project on a high shelf out of sight for a day. Because honestly if I didn’t I think I would have thrown it away. I was that frustrated and really the only thing that stopped me wasn’t the time I had put in but the cost of the fabric itself. I’m not throwing out $50 plus dollars of fabric over a temper tantrum. But again I believe a pattern should equip me with the knowledge I need to complete a project from start to finish.

The next day I turned to my old standby- google. And for one of the very few times ever it failed me! The sum total of advice I could find on the various blogs and websites was “ease it around.” In desperation I bought (sight unseen) a book referenced in a blog post about binding curved edges. The tree skirt went back into the closet for three weeks until the book arrived and it too was pretty useless. The book was supposed to be about binding and borders but it was more of visual option book versus a practical how-to. At this point I just needed this tree skirt done and out of the way so I sat down to channel my inner Tim Gunn and “make it work.” The binding is not pretty but it is done so at least I can check it off the list.

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When I started this project I was going to keep the tree skirt but about half way through I decided it would be a gift for someone else. Now that I’m done I’ve decided to give it to a good friend who’s taste is a bit more traditional than mine. Because time and frustrations aside after making this I realized it’s just not me but hey it sure looks cool. And she loves me enough not to look to closely 🙂

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Addicted to Two Inch Squares, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

I’m loving the Tokyo Subway Map Quilt Along that I’m starting to look for other excuses to use these tiny two inch squares- they are addictively sweet. I’ve been planning to make one of these fabric baskets for quite a long time but had never gotten around to it.

This one was destined to be a gift basket for the spa themed Christmas present for my step mother but now I’m not sure. The basket is a lot smaller than I imagined. The two apples are each smaller than my fist! Now I think it will fit a couple things and I’ll have to make a bag or something else for the rest… Don’t get me wrong I love it, I’m just not sure how functional it is.

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Originally I’d planned on making one for myself to hold the fabric scraps that will end up in the trash during a project. I usually end up piling them on the counter until I make it over to the trash can and my cats LOVE pushing these piles over the edge and playing in them. But having made one I realize it’s not big enough for that unless I double the size and maybe use an additional stabilizer. Hmmm

I loosely followed this tutorial from Pink Penguin. She offers clear instructions and lots of pictures. Pink Penguin only used three different fabrics but for more interest I used six. I also had some issues with the fabric dimensions she gave. When I sewed my two inch squares together the base piece was two big so I cut it down to fit to the squares and subsequently had to cut the lining piece down to make it fit. I also used iron in fleece because that’s what I had lying around. In case you are wondering the fabrics are mostly from Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow but I also used Hope Valley and Arcadia. The lining fabric is from Michael Miller and the solid fabric is an organic cotton I found at Jo Ann’s.

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I was traveling for work all last week so I’ve gotten behind on my crafting and even further behind in my posting but I’ve managed to catch with the Tokyo Subway Quilt Along which is good because I know myself well enough to know that if I get too far behind then this project would end up in my unfinished pile for who knows how long! Now that I’m thirteen blocks in I wish I had more variety, ideally this quilt would be made from scraps but being newish to quilting I don’t have many and ended up cutting into fat quarters and even yardage for many of the colors. I think it would be awesome to see it done with no repeats but I can’t even imagine how big of a scrap and fabric stash you would have to have to accomplish that considering the sheer volume of tiny squares! I’ve thought about starting to save up squares to make another one in a couple years but honestly there are too many different quilt patterns I’ve seen that I want to try and ideas in my head that I don’t think its worth repeating any. Besides I love this one 🙂

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2010090901 075, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

I recently had what many consider to be a milestone birthday, one of the ones when people start talking about your life in terms of decades and I can no longer pretend that I’m not an adult… sigh… To celebrate I went a little overboard at Hawthorne Threads. Most of the other fabrics were “justifiable” but these to were pure impulse and I love them! Do I have any clue what I will ever use these for? Nope! 🙂

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2010090901 094, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

I’ve never participated in a quilt along before but I couldn’t resist this one over at Oh Fransson.

I originally fell in love with this mini quilt that Elizabeth created. My intention was to create a larger quilt based on the Boston subway system but she beat me to it! And I figured if you can’t beat them then join them 🙂

We are three blocks in and I have to say these little squares are addictive.

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I don’t have a very large stash and I had to buy 9-10 new prints in order to have enough variety but I still like it. The blocks are 8 two inch blocks by 8 two inch blocks so if you have at least 8 different prints in each colorway you can get a nice variety.

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I cut all of my squares first and quickly learned that my stash relies heavily on light blue and bright pink and is almost completely lacking dark green, dark blue and yellow. So I used this as an opportunity to try and round out my stash a bit more, I love color spectrum quilts so I know they will be put to use.

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The quilt along is moving pretty quickly, we got two blocks Wednesday and are supposed to get another two blocks today but I prefer it that way. It’s so much fun that I can’t wait to see the whole quilt together.

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I’ve already started planning the back, I think I’m going to try and do some sort of city scape but we’ll see.

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